Paying for College through Federal Work Study Programs

With the cost of education becoming more expensive each and every year, students are finding it much more difficult to come up with the necessary funding in order to afford their school of choice. Some are finding that even after applying for grants and other student aid, they are unable to meet all of the costs associated with going to college. This of course can create a great deal of stress in the life of those that are really counting on their ability to go to school. However, there are other methods of obtaining this money that many students are completely eligible to participate in.

After filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) the student will determine how much money they are eligible for through student loans and grants from the federal government. After this has been determined, if they still don’t have enough money to cover both the direct and indirect costs of education, students should consider talking to their financial aid advisers. These advisers have several options at their disposal that will aid students in paying for their college and meeting their additional needs. One of these programs is the federal work-study program.

While the work study program is somewhat confusing to many people, which is why they never attempt to quality for it, it really isn’t all that complicated. In fact, since you can work directly through your school in establishing the program you really don’t have to worry about the process as much as the school does.

The Work Study program is a federally funded program that aids students in meeting the additional expenses of their college education. In order to do this, the federal government essentially provide money directly to the school in order to subsidize the employment of that individual with the income earned going directly towards the costs of college. To simplify this, it means that the government and the school are going to partner together and pay you to work for the college or in the community. while you aren’t always paid the best of rates, you are given a chance without taxation to cover the costs of your college by doing random jobs around the school. If you notice many schools have someone working in the gym, someone washing towels, etc. These are people that are working through the school work study program.

The way the program works is that schools that participate in the program, which is a great number of them across the country, are alloted money by the federal government. This allotment is based on the overall need of the school and is determined on a per school basis. The amount that the school receives determines how much money they are able to pay students in order to work for them. Generally schools will pay no more than minimum wage so that they can better serve the greatest number of students. However, in areas where there aren’t as many students taking advantage of work study, rates could be substantially higher.

The federal government will essentially pay for 50% of the costs to employ you and the college will pay the other 50% if they are private or a for profit college. Public colleges will pay only 25% and the federal government pays 75%.  This obviously creates great opportunity for both the college and the student as the government foots the bill for a good chunk of the program.  The benefit to the government is that it creates a higher base of educated workers in the hopes that it can raise the tax base in the process. 

Through this government program, you could become a tutor for elementary students, you could work in the gym, or you could be working around the community. Each school is required to place at least 7 percent of their allocated funds towards placement within the community. This means that they have to have some of their work study students doing things around the community, specifically some volunteers in the classrooms.  By having this requirement the government is able to get more people to help out in the community and hopefully broaden their views on helping out in the community as a whole.  The idea isn’t to just make the community better for a day or week the idea is that through programs such as this the government can get more people involved in their community on a regular basis. 

The nice thing about the program is that it generally allows for great deal of flexibility in the hours, and they don’t normally require you to work all that hard for the money that you earn. Many of the jobs that you would hold, even have more than enough time for you to study while on the job. A good example of this is the front desk at the gym. Depending upon your position you could find that you are paying for your school and essentially doing little more than studying in order to earn that money. This of course is a great reason why the work study programs are so great for students. The key however is that you really have to apply in order to know if you are accepted. If you don’t apply, then you can’t qualify, so take advantage of this program and you could cut your costs for college significantly.

If nothing else, this program gives a great opportunity for someone to go to school without having to front quite as much money as they would going to school in the traditional manner.  Through the government assisted program students are able to take advantage of a great program that not only educates them but gets them out into the community to not only better their neighborhood but themselves in the process.